Archive by category | Barcelona climate change conference

Barcelona climate: Momentum builds for a “political agreement” in Copenhagen

The European Commission’s chief negotiator, Artur Runge-Metzger, acknowledged this afternoon that Europe might have to settle for a political agreement rather than a binding legal treaty in Copenhagen (see my post this morning for a quick discussion of the issue). Everybody else has been talking about this possibility for some time, but it’s not insignificant when the EU, which has always been the primary driver of this process, starts talking about it. Indeed, one environmentalist told me that once Europe gives up on the idea of a fully ratifiable deal in Copenhagen, the game is over.  Read more

Barcelona climate: New analysis shows progress in emerging economies

And now I’ll take a look at the major developing countries, as promised both yesterday and today. A new analysis of climate commitments by the six biggest emerging economies – Brazil, China, India, South Africa, Mexico and South Korea – suggests that their cumulative emissions add up to a 25 percent reduction compared to “business as usual” projections for 2020. The report (not yet available on the web but discussed in a session on Tuesday) was commissioned by the German government and this portion was led by Niklas Hohne of the consultancy Ecofys in Koln. For some background, see our earlier coverage here.  Read more

Barcelona climate: Monitoring the (same old) debate

I’m sitting in the plenary session of the Kyoto Protocol, listening to an old debate over the baseline year used to assess emissions. The protocol is currently tied to 1990 emissions, but Japan, Australia and Canada have all suggested that expressing emissions reductions according to multiple baselines might be useful.  Read more

Barcelona climate: Big heads of state

Barcelona climate: Big heads of state

I arrived at the conference this morning only to encounter global leaders with unusually large heads pulling funny money out of one box labelled “aid” and putting it into another labelled “climate change.” It was a short stunt by Oxfam – and just one of many put on by various activist groups each day – intended to raise awareness of the danger that rich countries will simply reduce development aid as they increase funding for adaptation and mitigation. Developing countries have made this a central part of their platform going into Copenhagen – any climate financing must be in addition to existing development aid.  Read more

Barcelona Climate: safeguarding primary forests under REDD

And now back to the case of the missing 10-word phrase, which says that any payments for reduced deforestation should include “safeguards against the conversion of natural forests to forest plantations.” Just for amusement, here’s the gist in UN climate speak: It was in “”http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/ad_hoc_working_groups/lca/application/pdf/mitigation1biiinp11031009.pdf”>Non-paper No. 11″ but was left out of “”http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/ad_hoc_working_groups/lca/application/pdf/mitigation1biiinp18081009.pdf”>Non-paper No.18″ when negotiators gathered for a final session before departing Bangkok last month.  Read more

Barcelona climate: Nature Geo stirs things up with deforestation analysis

This afternoon has been all about deforestation. Environmentalists are busy tracking the debate about an 10-word phrase – mysteriously deleted at the last talks in Bangkok – that is designed to prevent natural forests from being converted into plantations. But I’ll deal with that issue in my next post and move on to a Nature Geoscience commentary that has caused quite a buzz here in Barcelona by downgrading the relative contribution of carbon emissions from deforestation.  Read more

Barcelona climate: A rough start, tinged with hope

Barcelona climate: A rough start, tinged with hope

I arrived at the United Nations climate conference today – late, on the second day, after a red-eye flight over the Atlantic and an all-too-brief nap at the hotel – and encountered drama much sooner than expected. I registered, oriented myself at the conference centre, gathered the requisite daily briefing documents and then found a bathroom to deploy a newly purchased toothbrush. It was there, after bumping into a colleague, that I learned the African Group had announced at the opening session on Monday that it would boycott the Kyoto Protocol talks until developed countries get serious about their climate commitments.  Read more

Barcelona climate: The last stop before Copenhagen

Nature reporter Jeff Tollefson will be at the United Nations climate summit from 2-6 November 2009 in Barcelona, Spain. It is the last negotiating period before the seminal climate summit in Copenhagen in December. For more, see www.nature.com/roadtocopenhagen.  Read more